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1. 800. 973.1177

LEGAL STAFFERS SOUND OFF

Legal Staffers Sound Off [7-19- 2004 by LawCrossing Staff] Do you have a question about working in the legal profession? About LawCrossing? No matter the topic, + send us an e-mail and we’ll be glad to answer it for you!

What is the difference between paralegals

I’m currently a receptionist and was won-

and legal assistants? (If any)

dering what my chances are of getting a job

Jennifer V., BA candidate 2005

as a legal secretary without proficiency in Excel or PowerPoint?

The difference can be huge or non-existent,

Christina L.,

based on the firm type. Paralegals can be certified by the Bar association, but they

Not knowing Excel or PowerPoint will not

need not be, essentially a paralegal is an

hurt your chances too much, so long as you

attorney’s assistant, and performs many es-

can use a computer. It also depends on how

sential legal functions, but always under the

automated the firm you want to work at is.

supervision of an attorney. A legal assistant

Most legal staff members use law-specific

can do essentially the same work as an

software, and general basic word processing

administrative aide, sometimes taking care

programs. No need to bring attention to the

of filing or reception or assisting a paralegal.

fact that you don’t know these applications,

If you are a paralegal, you might want to cast

just emphasize your skills on your resume,

the net wide and apply for legal assistant

highlight the fact that you have worked in a

jobs as well. Some businesses will use these

law office and are familiar with the type of

terms interchangeably, especially for in

work that’s done and just apply. If you have

house jobs.

less experience you might want to take a Legal Assistant or Paralegal course.

Does anyone know of any contacts for jobs for word processors at the big firms?

Are there any temp jobs on this site?

Lisa M., Law Firm Receptionist

David E., Document Reviewer

You can send out resumes to the main

Yes, we list many part time and contract jobs.

contact information in the Staff Recruiting

Also if you look for recruiter jobs, you can get

section of law firms. These positions are in

in touch with some staffing agencies which

the “Other” and “Administrative Support”

place legal staff.

sections of the Legal Staff portion of the site. Is temping the best way to break into a job at What is the job market like out there right

one of the big firms?

now for paralegals?

Carol C., Paralegal

John K., BA English Not necessarily. Big firms recruit in various The market has been good, even when things

ways -- you can move from the bottom up,

were not so good for lawyers. In fact, the

you can consult your college or schools’ ca-

downturn in hiring attorneys gave a rise to

reer placement office and you can go through

hiring legal staff, unfortunately the lower

on campus interviews. Many large firms will

rate they need to be paid as compared to at-

hire students with Bachelors Degrees and

torneys is part of the reason.

good grades as staff members, the same way

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they recruit attorneys.

Legal Staffers Sound Off  

Find the difference between paralegals and legal assistants and the contacts for jobs for word processors at the big firms. Know about the j...

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